Extreme Home Makeover: Chávez Edition

Every Thursday, state-run television channel here presents a live national broadcast of what might be called “Extreme Home Makeover: Socialist Edition.” It is part reality TV, part game show, full-throated campaign rally. The programming features top aides to President Hugo Chávez handing over apartments and houses to down-on-their-luck Venezuelans, who respond with telegenic tears and expressions of gratitude to Chávez, who is running for re-election. “I want to send a message to all the people in shelters, to have faith and keep up hope,” said Ramón Rondón, 64, on a recent broadcast, standing in the kitchen of his new apartment in a government-built development called El Cobre. A white-haired pro-Chávez activist, Mr. Rondón added, “This is a victory of the revolution.” A short time later, Mr. Rondón’s wife, María Monsalvi, 54, relaxed in a new armchair, part of the furniture, including a sofa, beds, a kitchen table and chairs, provided by tgovernment. Above Ms. Monsalvi’s head was a photo of Mr. Chávez hung by the show’s producers. Because her apartment was featured on television, she was given a deluxe “presidential line” of furnishings. She marveled at her good fortune after losing her home in a mudslide and then spending a year in a cramped shelter. “I felt like I won the lottery”. For Americans weary of underwater mortgages and housing booms and busts, there is surely something novel in Venezuela’s approach to its own housing crisis. The government estimates that in a country of 29 million people, 2.7 million families need new homes, either because they are homeless, homes they live in are inadequate or multiple families are crowded together under one roof. The giveaways are a prime example of how Mr. Chávez has been able to maintain popular support for nearly 14 years, despite out-of-control crime, erratic basic services and stubborn poverty. By making a show of delivering new homes to some, he keeps alive hope among many others that they too might some day benefit from the same largess. Recovering from cancer treatments, Mr. Chávez has been far less visible in public than at any other time of his presidency. But his housing giveaways continue, whether he is there to personally hand over the keys to the dwellings himself or not. He finances the new homes with country’s vast oil income and promotes giveaways through “Housing Thursday” broadcasts and television commercials that are essentially government-paid ads for Mr. Chávez’s candidacy. He recently gave a new apartment to a woman for becoming his three millionth follower on Twitter (…..)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/14/world/americas/in-venezuela-a-campaigning-chavez-builds-loyalty-with-house-giveaways.html


Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

4 Responses to Extreme Home Makeover: Chávez Edition

  1. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Hugo Chavez and Cristina Kirchnner in Argentina think they have found the magic formula to stay in power forever: distribute income and build houses for the poor with public funds. Chavez in Venezuela can afford the economic costs because of unlimited oil revenues. He’ll be reelected. Cristina could not and Argentina is heading towards another major economic and financial crisis. Cristina is in serious danger of finishing her second mandate as Raul Alfonsin did in 1989, i.e., high inflation, political and economic chaos. Her dream of a possible third mandate will be terminated by the economy. Dilma Rousseff is quite the opposite of Chavez and Cristina. Her administration –following the same policies of her predecessor Lula da Silva of PT — has been successful in combining sound macroeconomic policy with income distribution and housing affordability for the poor and middle class. As far as concrete and favorable results for the majority of the population, Brazil is the NEW socio-economic model in Latin America. Mexico’s newly elected President Pena Nieto has expressed preference to follow Brazil’s best practices when he takes power in December. Among the group of so-called leftists, anti-gringo presidents in Latin America i.e., Chavez, Cristina, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Daniel Ortega, only Chavez has a chance to stay in power as long as Fidel Castro in Cuba because of oil revenues. The remaining members will be defeated sooner or later by the economy.


  2. Carlos Malamud says:

    Peña Nieto dice que seguirá el modelo de Petrobras, para impulsar a la moribunda Pemex, y no el modelo del proteccionismo brasileño. México este año puede crecer el doble que Brasil gracias a su apertura comercial a todo el mundo, sin recetas mágicas favorables a la potenciación de la producción nacional. O Brasil se abre al mundo o su “NEW socio-economic model” saltará por los aires. Es obvio que Brasil está mostrando crecientes dificultades económicas, que no se resuelven bajando los tipos de interés.

  3. Carlos Malamud says:
  4. Regina Caldas says:

    É a Mega Sena venezuelana criada pelo Chavez! Sonhar é preciso….


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